Erie Police have confirmed that a 7-year-old boy was shot around 7:45 p.m. Thursday in the 2100 block of Downing Ave.

Early Friday, the victim was transported to a hospital in Pittsburgh. At this time, the suspect’s age is unknown.

Because the victim is so young, Erie Police are encouraging parents to be more involved in their children’s lives.

“Your kids don’t have an expectation of privacy in their home, kids should not have firearms. I would say to go into your kids rooms and search those rooms and get anything illegal out of those rooms. You not only might be saving their life, but saving someone else’s life,” said Deputy Chief Rick Lorah, Erie Police Department.

Lorah said they are working on the relationship between City of Erie Police and the community. Lorah said he hopes this continued effort will put an end to this kind of gun violence.

“Parents that know there are guns in the household ought to make sure that their teens know there are real life consequences for using those guns, carrying those guns, even being around other kids who have guns. Being part of a conspiracy or aiding a crime involving a gun puts those children at risk for adult sentences,” said Eric Purchase, attorney.

The 7-year old boy is in critical condition following the shooting and police are still searching for a suspect